July 2, 2020
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building, Room 281
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford:
Re: Immediate Federal-Provincial Financial Assistance for Municipalities
Time is running out for municipal governments and the municipal workers who have kept this province safe and delivered the frontline and core services Ontarians rely on most.
The time for a federal-provincial cost shared emergency financial relief plan for municipalities is now.
As you are aware, revenue losses and increased costs of delivering services due to COVID-19 will result in operational shortfalls in municipal budgets in 2020 and 2021, measured in billions of dollars.
These shortfalls are already resulting in mass layoffs and significant service reductions. Without emergency financial assistance, these shortfalls will result in significant property tax hikes, services cuts and the deferral or cancellation of capital projects. Such outcomes will undermine Ontario’s recovery and confidence in Ontario’s economy.
You have stated publicly that a joint federal-provincial response is needed. We urge you to conclude discussions with the Government of Canada productively and promptly, and to implement a program of emergency financial assistance as soon as possible.
AMO and CUPE share a strong and common interest in the financial sustainability of municipal government and in protecting publicly delivered services and jobs. Ontario and Canada also share that interest and have the capacity and the responsibility to act immediately to protect our communities and to support a strong recovery.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this important matter.
Jamie McGarvey, President, AMO
Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario
The Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ontario
The Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Ontario
The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, Ontario
The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills
CUPE Ontario Members
President Bill Karsten, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Mark Hancock, President – the Canadian Union of Public Employees
Brian Rosborough, Executive Director, AMO